The brain of the brain. That is how the hypothalamus is described. Located in the center of the brain, the hypothalamus carries a massive burden. This is the control center for maintaining the body’s regulatory activities. This cluster of cells is responsible for the brains most powerful hormones; Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepinephrine and acetylcholine. This area is the key to automatic and endocrine balance. It manages all endocrine hormone levels, sensory processing, the body’s metabolism, ingestive behaviors; the hypothalamus is the link between the mind and body.

The hypothalamus directly influences the Pituitary gland, controlling the pituitary output. It controls emotions, feelings, moods, motivational states, hunger, and appetite and food intake. It controls the amount of pleasure and satisfaction, comfort and creative activities and is also intimately related to all the 5 senses.

When this crucial part of our anatomy begins to dysfunction, everything is affected. This results in the wrong neuro-signals being generated and the wrong neuro-messages received. This in turn results in inaccurate reading from all the sensory input. Leaving feelings of being unsatisfied, empty and deprived. All of which could lead to depression, hyperactivity, disturbances in the brain and limbic functioning.

Given that hormones play a powerful role in every aspect of pregnancy. When the hypothalamus becomes problematic, so does the amount of hormones produced. As we have already learned for egg maturation and ovulation the follicle stimulating and the luteinizing hormone needs to be produced. Both of which are signaled by the gonadotropin-releasing hormone. Should the hypothalamus stop producing GnRH, and then lower levels of the FSH and LH are produced, causing hypothalamic amenorrhea. Meaning ovulation and menstruation stops, resulting in infertility.

Causes of hypothalamus dysfunction include:

• Anorexia
• Bulimia
• Bleeding
• Genetic Disorder
• Growths
• Head trauma
• Infection and swelling
• Surgery
• Excessive levels of iron
• Malnutrition
• Radiation

For women who suffer from hypothalamus amenorrhea a change in lifestyle may be all that is needed to restart menstruation and regain your fertility. For others, your doctor may prescribe different types of hormonal therapy.

Symptoms of hypothalamus dysfunction may include:

• Frequent headaches
• Vision problems
• Overall weakness
• Altered body temperature
• Inability to control process of urinating
• Excessive thirst
• Obesity
• Emotional disturbance

Determining the cause of your hypothalamus dysfunction is the first step for successful treatment. Speak to your doctor if there are any concerns.

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